Âllo, âllo, Bonjour!
The world has become golden. Blasts of rain blowing the brown-yellow leaves horizontally through the air, crows sweep over vineyards that have been picked empty.

We have survived. The harvest is over, the wine is in the barrels. Still shaken from the wide array of emotions that have passed though us we try to bring you our account in this slurp! But attention, don’t let the following overwhelming stories drag you in so much that you forget to partake in the national Slurp-research at the bottom.


Last Wednesday 14th of October the sun set for the last time on the grapes.
On that day the last grapes were picked.

The harvest 2009 is safely in the barrels. With a troupe of 50 Dutch Winetigers we worked like titans. It became the best harvest that we’ve ever had. Cliquez ici for de dirty details.

Un Miracle

“For our château 2009 isn’t a 'Bonne année' nor is it a 'Grande’. ” Paul slurped a swig of wine, spewed a red jet in to the gravel and looked at me with piercing eyes: “for Château de la Garde 2009 is a 'Très Grande Année', crammed to breaking point with aroma’s en structure. Pure velvet. 2009 is a dream year for us Ilja!”


After a wonderful spring and a perfect summer the last month before the harvest became even better: the grapes could sunbathe all day. Almost too much, but at the exactly moment that the vineyards were about to start withering, it started to rain ever so slightly that treated the grapes to an almost scientifically measured amount of heavenly water. Had arranged this our selves it wouldn’t have been this perfect.
This, in combination with a team harvesters bursting with motivation, will produce the best wine we have ever made.

From left to right: Bruno Lacoste (Michel Rollands oenologue), starwinemaker Michel Rolland, the wineboer himself and manager/oenologue Paul Bordes.

The moonlighting wineboer

Writing a book. It’s something you actually should never do. But sometimes you just can't leave well enough alone. Enfin, last week the dummy arrived. Paralysed with the fear of discovering your own mistakes you obviously don’t dare even glance at it. Not knowing what to do with it, we ended up doing a consumertest with it.

Our men as well as the baker seemed chuffed with the writings of a wine farmer. But that might have been because they had no idea what bunch of conjoined Dutch meant.
Later on in the week the baker did ask me what ‘fucking’ meant. Even though this isn’t actually mentioned anywhere in the book.

Spending money and yet earning it

The bright side of this drive to write is the generous advance that publisher Bruna gave us.
Keeping in mind the manuscript, which was ridden with spelling mistakes, they did attach a note to it requesting me to get a pair of glasses. They also hinted, in words largely unknown to me, that the acquisition of a new typewriter might not be a bad idea. Wanting to have some of the advance left we want to the only place to buy such a thing…


... the flee market.

A fitting pair of glasses was soon found.   But the range of available type writers was so big that doubt started to seep into the equation.

Did we had to opt for the original Underwater type writer? The copper-red summers here in Bordeaux wouldn’t really justify that choice.


According to the vendor this Hammerhead belonged to and old stewardess. It had always been inside, only ever so slightly in need of a service. A squirt of oil and you can start writing those bestsellers!

A stand further along there was another temptation laying in wait for me: a new pair of shoes! However the fact that it seemed impossible to find a matching pair was a rather unpleasant fly in my ointment.   But then the idea of luxury got its sharp claws in to me: a new TV! That would brighten the lonely existence of a wineboer.

And while we’re at it, we might as well get two comfortable chairs to go along with it. But eventually we ended up making a mistake:


… we came home with our purchase which we hadn’t been looking for. But we do enjoy it: from today we’ll cool our tulips in a real negro-fridge!

La Fourchette Dort

When with the approaching lunchtime the question of ‘where?’ pops up our manager suggests of late often a restaurant in the small neighboring village of Lugon called ‘La Fourchette Dort’.
Now our village St-Romain-La-Virvée is already a lively vinometropolis, Lugon is a true hurricane of nocturnal activities and untamed nightlife.


On the totally deserted village square there are several signs put up by the local council noting the upcoming events. One could for instance attend up to two dancing classes, empty ones attic or wine a cows leg in the ‘Superlotto’.
Paul is however not interested in these alluring offers. Busily calling unwilling suppliers he sped off ahead of me. ‘Allez Ilja!’ he calls over his shoulder. ‘Hurry up!’ I’m starving!’

A mysterious hastiness, because La Fourchette Dort is a restaurant which lacks any form of coziness. In France there are thousands of no-bullshit restaurants where eating is a fysio-biological activity. A daily necessity that is satisfied in a substantial manner, without any exceptionalities and for a modest amount.

In the national coziness-top-ten the interior wouldn’t score particularly high, but it was heartwarmingly clumsy. One orders here without much thinking the menu du jour and then proceeds to fill their plates with things from the hors d’oeuvre-trough.

The question ‘pourquoi’ becomes ever more pressing. Why hedonist and gourmand Paul keep wanting to go to this dismal, minimalistic eating hole?!
But when the order is taken it all becomes clear…
Nathalie’s appearance transforms the inhospitable deadmans room into a beaming palace hall. Her smile makes the sun set and fills your chest with lavender honey. Paul is no longer there.
With an open palm I wave my hand in front of his face. He didn’t notice. His eyes were sparkling and his facial expression was blissful. He passed seventh heaven.
Luckily a moment later a stack of steaks vigneronnes arrives and even luckier you’re allowed to bring your own wine.   Afterwards Paul insists on paying and with one swift move of his hand he snatches the miniscule bill off the table.


Then the monkey comes out of the box. Paul has a loyalty card!


For real enjoyers of life, here is the address.

National slurp-research

Slurping and other unwanted bodily noises are still surrounded by a fog of taboo. Slurping, according to the Oxford Dictionary is: to eat or drink with a loud sucking sound, which tends to lead to chuckling, jeering or dismay.
To get an insight in to the perception on slurping, we ask you to participate in a national questionnaire. With a minimal investment of a few minutes you can contribute to the acquiring of a clear picture of the slurping habits of the Dutchman.

Allez to work! Go to of Cliquez ici!
The more participants the better so send the link to all your friends and enemies.

Santé! Et à la prochaine!





Slurp! The new wineboerenbook,
€ 14,95. In stores now.